Encounter #31.1: Above Average

App: Hinge

Name: Jared*

Date Location: Salute Brick Oven Bistro – Montclair, NJ

Location Review:  4.0 Stars – Although the menu is essentially all in Italian, the food is BOMB and it’s BYOB so you can get as drunk as you want for as little as you want.

Date Duration: 7 hours

What Happened:

I had kept the same Hinge profile since I got the app. My photos had not changed too much and I liked my answers to some of their conversation starters. Over the course of 8 months I started to notice patterns on what people would “Like” to open the conversation with me. 2 photos in particular get more play but there’s a video of a comedy performance I have that rarely gets noticed. This is what Jared “Liked” to start the conversation.

The conversation just worked with him and in less than a day we exchanged numbers. We texted up the ass and I just didn’t care because he was so fucking funny and we had the same sense of humor. HOW.

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I also drunk texted him. A lot. The first weekend we were texting, I was in DC visiting a friend. I won’t lie, I normally go pretty hard when I go out. DC was another form. It had been several months since I had blacked out and I did not remember ANY of what I said to Jared.

He apparently thought it was cute and then let me drunk text him again when I went home for July 4th. ..and again when I went to party on the 5th. (I drink a lot during the summer. COME AT ME)

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For the first time, in a long time, I was fully excited to meet someone. I knew the basics of who he was but even over text he could make me smile.

He lived near Montclair (a VERY bougie place in NJ) so I met him over there for dinner. As I was staring and waving at a dog that walked by, Jared appeared. He was a lanky lanky white boy. But he had the biggest smile. Alright, I can and have done worse.

I was so excited that he brought white wine. I don’t know if it was chance or that he remembered I liked it but it worked in his favor. Right off the bat, we got along. It took us over a half hour to order food because we just wouldn’t shut the fuck up. (The food was BOMB btw. Got those meatballs with the fontina cheese in it and some kind of breaded chicken with rosemary. So good!)

We also killed the bottle of wine pretty quickly. OOPS. (By we I mean me. Damage was done.) When we finished at the restaurant he asked if I wanted to see the rest of downtown Montclair. On the way, we passed a bar that my co-worker recommended and we stopped in front of it. He was talking all about it and showing me the fun things and I felt him touch me a little more. Nothing crazy. Just a hand briefly on my back or my arm. So I thought to myself, FUCK IT IMMA TOUCH HIM. So I touched his arm and leaned into him a bit. Then we kissed. (In front of an abandoned church and garbage can.) Then it turned into a light make out and when we stopped and looked at each other, he had the dorkiest smile on his face. It was adorable.

He took my hand and we walked around a little bit (may have made out on another street corner) and we finally decided that standing on a corner and talking was kind of awk. We sat on a half wall and kept talking and making out for the next 2 hours.

During this time, he told me how nervous he was to meet me. So nervous that he went to Kohl’s on his lunch break to get a new outfit for the date. He also said that for the first time since high school, he had butterflies. SO. SWEET. To top it off, when we started talking, he had a few other conversations with girls going but he stopped answering because I was the only one he really wanted to talk to.

Around 10-something he walked me to my car where we made out slammed up against the trunk of my hatchback. For 2 hours. During this time, there was a tiny Asian lady in her car 2 spots from mine and we had no idea she was there until she pulled out of the garage. OOPS. We were going at it pretty hard to the point I had several hickeys on my neck and he indirectly asked me to come back to his place. I declined, but we continued on making out like teenagers.

I drove him back to where he parked and we made out for the entire Shawn Mendes album. My brother was staying at my apartment so things were cut short when he decided to call me at 1am and see if I was dead. THANKS BRO.

I drove home so happy for once. As a general life note, during this time I had been having some trouble with my physical and mental health. I was tired of being miserable so I joined a gym by my work and signed up for talkspace. (If you are in a bind at all because of insurance, cost, time, etc. I really encourage you to check out talkspace. It’s super easy to use and they work quickly to find you a therapist.) When this self care started I told myself that unless I already had a conversation going, I wouldn’t pursue anything. At the time, the only person I was speaking to was Jared and he completely surpassed any and all expectations. Date #2 was underway.

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Encounter #23.1: Nice Boy

Name: Aaron*

Date Location: Quality Greens Kitchen

Location Review: 4.5 Stars – Super healthy and tasty. A cross between HoneyGrow and Chipotle. Wish there was booze.

Date Duration: 2 hours

What Happened:

Aaron was physically out of my league. By a lot. So I was shocked when he messaged first on Hinge. He asked to meet up in Hoboken to walk along the water front. I got there first so I was just dicking around on my phone texting friends in our group chat. I then done fucked it up.

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Womp. To combat this issue, I changed his name in my phone to:

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Well, he still agreed to hang out with me. I walked up to him and he was SO FINE but it felt like I already made him uncomfortable. (I mean I kinda did).

But his voice was so stiff and monotone I really thought it was all over.  I later realized that that was really his voice. We walked along the pier and he seemed to get more comfortable. We sat down and somehow within 15/20 minutes he asked if he could kiss me and we made out…for several minutes. It wasn’t too bad. The only thing was that his breath was kind of oniony and he wouldn’t let up. I love PDA, don’t get me wrong. But it was not dark enough outside to be doing that shit plus we were in an area where people take photos since the skyline is right there.

We stopped making out long enough for him to offer up dinner. We walked to the restaurant holding hands (his were so fucking dry. He needed some serious lotion). During this 7-minute walk I really started to hate him. He kept bringing up how he hated his hometown and that he was a health nut. Like no ice cream, no pizza, no fun health nut. Then by the time we got to the restaurant I learned he was bullied in high school, had body image issues, and neither were resolved.

We ate and kept chatting. Anytime he said anything, he sounded like a child. He wouldn’t curse so he used these odd made up words in their place. He also dropped the bomb that he didn’t drink. FUCK. I asked why and he said it’s because his aunt choked on her own vomit while drinking…and doing heroin and crack. I’m not a doctor, but I think the heroin and crack were  the bigger issue.

Despite not drinking, he had been in more bar fights than you’d expect. As these stories went on it seemed like his friends weren’t really his friends and either kept him around for some personal gain or because they felt obligated. Either way, these guys he hung around with sucked.

After dinner we went back to the pier. He started to kiss me again and I just wanted it to stop. I was annoyed by him and I hated how he kept making out with me nonstop. I said something along the lines of, “I get really embarrassed by PDA” (total lie) to make it end. I really wanted to get to know him to see if I was a dick or if he really was that annoying to me. Instead, we went behind a piece of playground equipment and it just kept happening and it was getting worse. His nose poked my eye.

Somehow I got him to stop sucking my bottom lip off long enough to ask him what his worst date was. He said that a girl looked really in shape in her pics and then showed up not looking like them. WOW AARON. I FEEL SO BAD FOR YOU. Meanwhile I’ve fucked a dude with no electricity, was blown off for a nap, and had a guy ditch after 7 minutes. BUT YES AARON THAT DATE WAS TERRIBLE.

I was ready to call it a night and despite his offer to drive me home, I called a Lyft. He texted me that night saying he had a good time and all that shit. The next day, I had a gala for work so I was working all night. He texted me at some point wishing me luck but I was busy so I ignored it. Three days later he texted me again asking how the event went. I had just gotten home from a weekend away so I ignored it and decided I would text him later to break it off.

He called me and left a fucking voicemail.

Fuck. This guy was nice. So nice. But also wayyyy more into me than I was into him. As much as I wanted to ghost, it was too late. I had to nagasaki him.

I blocked, unmatched, then sent the text out. He had an iPhone so despite being blocked his message came through on my laptop. He seemed to take it well even though I was the biggest cunt in history. I only made out with him and gave every indication I was interested. Great work, Laura.

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